Council of Despair
Council of Despair

Council of Despair

The Council of Despair

Location: Abyss / Pazunia

Oh, the Council of Despair, it’s a name that sounds just about as pleasurable as a tooth extraction without the aid of whiskey, ain’t it? You see, berk, it’s one of the grandest charades in the multiverse, a place where the big shots of the Abyss and the godly servants come to have a natter. You’ll find it in the dead centre of the burg of Sonu-Aar’ri on Pazunia.

First off, let’s talk about the head honcho of this whole shindig, Axian the Traitor, or if you’re feelin’ a bit generous, Axian the Loyal (planar molydeus tanar’ri [he/him] / CE). He’s got more faces than a politician in the Hall of Speakers, flip-floppin’ between loyalties as it suits him. He’s a figure shrouded in enigma, commanding both respect and suspicion, like a mob boss who’s risen to power through dubious means. In his dreams, Axian envisions the council as a place of Abyssal harmony, where agreements are reached and bonds formed between the high-ups of the tanar’ri, bless his naive (and poisonous) heart.

Now the Council itself is a wicked parliament where the very best of the worst of the Abyss gather, a sinister assembly hall with more backstabbin’ than the Hive. The air is thick with the scent of treachery and blood and venomous whispers circulate like rumours in a gossip mill, each one more insidious than the last.

You see, cutter, despite what Axian might desire it ain’t just a place for debates; it’s more like an assassin’s playground, a right lethal one at that. Picture the most treacherous back alleys of Sigil, now fill it with beings that have more in common with nightmares than flesh and blood. We’re talkin’ slayer genies and sacroloths, creatures so terrifying they’d give the Kadyx a run for its money, and they’re all there with one goal in mind: To get ahead by offing some high-ups, on the quiet like.

Aye, it’s not uncommon to find the higher-ups of the Abyss mingling there, giving speeches that echo with false promises and deceit, trying to gain allies in a place where trust is as rare as a generous Fated factotum. Every word uttered in that council is a potential seed of destruction. Why do any tanar’ri go there in the first place? It’s a good question — I can think of a few reasons, cutter. First off, to avoid the Council of Despair is to show a potential weakness; if you’re too scared to go to the Council then you must be weaker than you make out. Second, it’s a good way for Abyssal Lords to meet one another in relatively neutral territory; no invading each other’s personal realms required. And finally, it’s a very convenient way to keep an eye on your rivals and try to suss out their weaknesses.

But don’t get me wrong, the Council of Despair has its own twisted electricity. There’s somethin’ captivating ’bout a place where the air vibrates with danger and every encounter could be your last. The tension in the main chamber is palpable, like standin’ on the gallows with the noose around your neck, a place of last chances and desperate bids for power.

So, if you fancy yourself a stroll right into the lion’s den, by all means, make your way to the Council of Despair. You just better hope the lions aren’t hungry today. But be ready for a game where every player is out for themselves, and loyalty is but a fleeting illusion. Oh, and bring a solid blade and a spell book, cutter, ’cause in the council, words are cheap, but magic and steel speak volumes. You’ll want to keep your wits about you, and maybe—just maybe—you’ll walk out with your life. It’s a long shot, but then, the Council of Despair was built on long shots, wasn’t it?

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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